RICHMOND, Indiana – The Earlham College baseball team continues its quest for a berth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament as the Quakers travel to Defiance College for a three-game series this weekend.
The Teams: Earlham and Defiance. The Quakers are 12-9 overall and 7-5 in conference after a 5-1 win at Mount St. Joseph University on Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets are 8-17 overall and 5-7 in HCAC play after a 4-1 win at Bluffton University on Tuesday.
The Coaches: Steve Sakosits is in his seventh season leading the Earlham baseball program. A coach of 38 All-HCAC honorees, Sakosits is the program's all-time leader in career victories (128) and has led the Quakers to the HCAC Tournament the past two seasons. Derek Woodley is in his 10th season leading the Defiance baseball program.
Hitters to Watch: Freshman Danny Dopp leads the Quakers' offense with a .400 batting average. Dopp is also one of four Quakers to have driven in at least 20 runs. Senior Eric Elkus, the program's all-time leader in RBIs, has driven in 37 runs and has a team-high eight doubles. Seniors Nate Lynch and Brennan Laird, who are both in the top five in career stolen bases for the Quakers, have combined to steal 40 bases. Zach Reed leads the Yellow Jacket offense with a .350 batting average, four triples, and 15 stolen bases.
Pitchers to Watch: Senior Howie Smith has pitched a team-high 40.0 innings and also leads Earlham's pitching staff in wins with four and strikeouts with 36. Freshman Kyle Gorman is 2-0 with a 3.66 ERA in 32 innings pitched. Junior Matt Mathies and freshman Jordan Christian also have at least two runs while freshman Spencer Owen (0.77 ERA) has been the Quakers' best reliever.
Tops In the Country: Earlham No. 1 in all of NCAA Division III baseball in stolen bases per game at 3.75 swipes per contest. The Quakers are also 12th in scoring at 8.9 runs per game.
Recent History: Earlham is 9-7 against Defiance since joining the HCAC prior to the 2011 season. The Yellow Jackets did take two of three from the Quakers at Sadler Stadium last season, however.
Coverage: Live statistics of the contest will be available – visit the links above.
Up Next: Earlham travels to Mount St. Joseph for a 5 p.m. contest on Tuesday, April 18.